Upon registration with Heart Profilers, patients are asked to complete a questionnaire to receive a free, confidential, personalized treatment options report. Users receive information, based on peer-reviewed, scientifically based literature, regarding success rates of various treatment options, potential medication side effects and questions to ask their healthcare providers. Patients also have access to medical journal abstracts and research studies written in an easy-to-understand format.
"Again, this format takes the patient to accurate and up-to-date information," Pia said. "Other Internet sites may be replete with misinformation. It may be difficult for the average patient to separate accurate education from false information. The trust in the American Heart Association allows them to be confident in what education they receive and access for themselves."
Researchers divided respondents into three groups: those who completed the Heart Profiler questionnaire (users), those who registered but did not complete it (registrants) and a control sample of non-users with one of the five heart conditions, who were identified via a nationally representative telephone survey, (controls). There were 1,039 users, 389 registrants and 1,564 controls.
Users and registrants were younger (average age 53.9 and 55.9 years) versus controls (average age 64.4). Nearly half of users and registrants held a four-year college degree, compared to one-third of controls. Users took 2.8 heart medications, registrants took 3.0 and controls 2.3. However, they had a similar number of heart conditions.
Consistent with their greater understanding of medications, HF and AF patients reported a greater tendency to use their medications as prescribed by their doctor, researchers said.
"It's beneficial for patients to be educated in this way," Pia said. "When patients understand the different treatment options available to them, the
Contact: Karen Astle
American Heart Association